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Highland cows make breathtaking journey to uninhabited Scottish island to give birth

'They totally love the beach. They are totally free and run around and eat seaweed and play in the sea'

Sophie Law
Friday 06 April 2018 17:29 BST
Hundreds of Highland cows walk along a beach to give birth on uninhabited Scottish Island of Vallay

A herd of cattle were filmed as they made a two-mile journey across a beach to an uninhabited island to give birth.

Angus MacDonald, his wife Michelle, both 53, and their family take the cows from the mainland to the Island of Vallay on the Outer Hebrides.

They make the journey so that the cows can give birth outdoors on clean ground. Vallay is a small uninhabited island that is only reachable by the beach at low tide.

Mr Macdonald said that the cows love the beach because they are free to run around it.

He said: ''We do the two-mile walk twice a year. We move them so they can calve in April then back to graze on the heather hills in October. They totally love the beach. They are totally free and run around and eat seaweed and play in the sea."

Angus has kept Highland cows for almost 50 years when his mother had a croft in the 1970s.

The MacDonald family now run Ardbhan Highland Cattle, a herd of purebred cattle with bloodlines dating back to 1885.

They now have 140 cows including three new calves.

The cows are sold all over Europe to bidders from Italy, France and Estonia.

The couple live on the mainland but hope to retire to Vallay and repair an old house on the deserted island.

The cows have gained a lot of attention after Angus' daughter-in-law Carianne posted stunning footage of the cows on their Facebook page.

Mr Macdonald said: ''We keep the cows organic and the soil is fertilised with seaweed brought in by the Atlantic storms. 'The herd of Highland cows have been a well-kept secret but not anymore."


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